Plan, conduct and direct research and technology development in the fields of aerospace power and electric propulsion. This includes providing technology, expertise and research facilities for aerospace as well as non-aerospace and commercial programs. Power system technologies include photovoltaics, space environmental effects, fuel cells, batteries, solar thermal propulsion, thermal energy conversion, flywheels, Stirling converters, and power management and distribution components. The electric propulsion technologies include ion engines, pulsed plasma thrusters, Hall thrusters, magneto-plasma dynamic thrusters and plasma contactors.
Research is conducted in-house and through cooperative agreements with universities, other government agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Technology development is accomplished both in-house and through contracts and space act agreements with industrial partners. Flight experiments are conducted cooperatively with other agencies and public and private entities and organizations.